Many people have opinions on the recreational use of marijuana. However, basing your knowledge of its effects on your own experience may not be sufficiently generalizable. This talk will cover the current state of our scientific knowledge of the consequences of marijuana use on brain structure and function.
About the speaker:
Neal Melvin, Life Sciences, Quest University Canada
Dr. Melvin conducted his undergraduate studies at the University of Lethbridge, where he first became interested in brains. During his studies, he worked on experimental projects in neural development, including neuronal migration and stem cell biology. After graduating with Distinction, he moved to the University of Calgary to complete his Masters degree in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the Faculty of Medicine, studying neural regeneration. Dr. Melvin subsequently returned to the University of Lethbridge to complete his doctoral degree. The subject of his Ph.D. was the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural stem cell differentiation in the adult hippocampus. This work resulted in the discovery of a novel area of the rat dentate gyrus, a structure critically involved in learning and memory, which constitutively lacks the ability to produce new brain cells under control conditions. Dr. Melvin then conducted his post-doctoral studies in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, with funding from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. His postdoctoral work focused on the mechanisms that underlie psychiatric disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. One of his major interests that is integrated into these studies is quantitative neuroanatomy and mathematical stereology.
Since joining the faculty at Quest in 2010, he has dedicated himself to establishing laboratory/experimental facilities to allow students to pursue projects in general molecular biology and neuroscience. Through his many collaborations, Dr. Melvin continues to conduct research on memory formation and stem cell fate, as well as restorative neurology.
When not pursuing his academic interests, Dr. Melvin enjoys sea kayaking, camping, hiking, skiing, travelling, music, reading, and an inordinate fondness for bears.